In Step #435 of Ford’s plan to salvage the financial wreckage, Ford announced its plans to combine the sales and marketing departments for its three automobile lines, Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury.
The marketing shifts will call for the elimination of brand-specific marketing departments and will instead differentiate by car type [ie: sedan, SUV, etc]. The expected change is a part of the budget-trimming plan Ford announced in June which calls for a 15% reduction in white-collar staff. Proving that lay-offs aren’t just for the little people, among the employees turning in their pass-keys are some surprisingly heavy-hitters including both Mark Kaline and Michael Sprague. Kaline, Ford’s global media manager, was on-board for 11 years before a recent curtailment of worldwide auto sales/promotions caught him in the cross-hairs. Sprague, the head of marketing for both Lincoln and Mercury, left for the Kia Motors marketing department after 12 years with Ford.
Although probably a wise move in the interest of penny-pinching, the decision to economize really isn’t going to help distinguish the three brands as separate entities. Despite painstaking efforts by Ford in the past to create individual identities for the three lines, to the average consumer they’re still fairly interchangeable and this new plan isn’t going help much.
[Source: Automotive News]